Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Thank Goodness!!!


So I’ve been MIA because the post competition crash hit me. Not everyone does, some stay right on track, but many competitors crash post contest. You now, don’t want to go to the gym, eat complete crap, gain just over 5 lbs in barely 2 weeks. Ok, that was me =)I have been in the gym some. Getting back on track more this week, even am cardio empty-stomached at 6 am twice this week. I had a leg day late last week that left me ridiculously sore for over 3 days, yay! The last 2 months headed to competition I wasn’t getting any DOMS at all anymore. I did back, chest, and mini biceps today and am hoping to feel that tomorrow too.

I’ve been worried about diet though, big time. Worried that I was not ever going to get back on the proverbial horse, but rather keep eating one!

Then tonight, while coaching this REALLY cute guy on contest nutrition who has been coaching me on new lat and shoulder stuff, I got it back! I actually WANT to eat clean again. Thank freaking goodness or I was going to be in major trouble in another month. So I packed up 3 meals for school tomorrow: 1 pb Think Thin Bar, 5 oz. Isernio’s Italian Sausage with ½ cup sweet potato, and another 5 oz. Isernio’s Italian Sausage with 1 cup broccoli. So excited for oatmeal with whey for breakfast and those meals on campus, plus 2 more clean meals at home. Phew, my motivation is back!!!

(I was getting pretty damn worried it wasn’t going to return!)

Oh, and if you ever wondered Give Me Everything Tonight by Pitbull and featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer is the absolute best song to dance around your house to with an iPod late in the night. Also great in the weight room or for cardio =) I can't find the actual official music vid on YouTube just lots of random ones so no embedded vid tonight unfortunately!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Emerald Cup

See the "Ecup Pics" posts below / in the sidebar for additional pictures. (Blogger limits how many I can put in each post.)

Let’s just get the disappointing part out of the way first. I was last in my class, barely, but I was. Based on how they score I wasn’t last in Figure, but I was last in my class and that’s what gets recorded. Each judge rates you based on what place they think you should be out of the group on stage, all seven judge’s choices are tallied up and that’s your score. The higher your score the worse you place. I was one of 14 women in Open Figure Class D (5’4” – 5’5”) and I received the following: 14, 14, 12, 13, 14, 12, 14. I’m thankful that at least two judges put me 3rd from last, but my total score was 67 against two other girls at 65 and 64 so it was very close, but I still came in last. Ecup is a big show, the biggest around these parts, and it is untested. Laura had warned me back in the beginning that it was a somewhat crazy choice for a first show and that was true, but I did it, I don’t regret it, and I’m proud of it. I also now know exactly what I need to hone to become competitive.

Even if you don’t actually know me in person you know me a little from reading my blog so that means you know I always find a way to put a positive spin on everything, right? =)

So here goes! I’m glad I competed. I handled my stung pride smartly. I waited around until the very end of the show so that I could go talk to the judges and ask for feedback on my top weaknesses. If I hadn’t done that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn and improve for my next competition. What cost me in placing?

1) My lat spread. This was no surprise. I knew going in that pulling out my lats was my biggest weakness. I did not have the back quarter turn nailed and my lats are still small to begin with. I simply have not been weightlifting or practicing posing long enough yet. The really great thing though was that a woman bodybuilder was standing right there and she showed and helped me try a method of pulling out my lats that I hadn’t seen before. It worked well for me and I’ll keep practicing it. She was really nice too. I have a ton of respect for women who do full bore bodybuilding. Figure is intense, but bodybuilding takes it up a few more notches beyond.

2) They want to see more shoulders on me. I need to rip out my delts to the point that they are visibly differentiated from my biceps and triceps when my arm is unflexed. Like three separate big bumps of beautiful muscle per arm.

3) I’m not lean enough. They’d like to see me shed another 3 or so pounds and I need to get down to around 11% body fat.

4) This one is the kicker. My suit hurt me. The style of bikini top I was wearing has thicker neck straps than the other girls were wearing (see pics below) and it covered up muscle. The judge told me that when it is a really close call small details like your suit can hurt you. I’m definitely getting it altered before my next show, no question.

This entry has been so slow in posting for two reasons. I needed to allow my stung pride to dissipate before I was willing to publicly say I came in last in my class and I went and spent the rest of the weekend with some of my best friends. My friends mean the world to me. I’m an only child which I believe gives me license to call family as I see it. Kelly has been in my life since 4th grade; Eli has been in my life since 7th grade. Interestingly we’re all only children. So is Eli’s girlfriend, Krysta, who grew up with us as well and our friend Quinn who now lives out of state was too. Funny how we all flock together. But Kelly and Eli are really family to me. They’ve always been there through the good, the bad, and the ugly and I love them dearly for it and also just for all that makes them who they are. We’re still quite new in each other’s lives, but my friend Darene also always has my back and is a beyond awesome inspirational strong person. I love her too. In the last year after moving I’ve been lucky to meet some wonderful new friends at school and at my gym. You know who you are =) I feel so lucky to have been supported by everyone in this experience. All your kind words kept me up and meant the world. The people in it are what make my world beautiful.

I especially want to thank my trainer, Laura. More than all she taught me in the gym she has been just amazing at playing moral support while I was at The Emerald Cup feeling intimidated. I’m so thankful / happy to have her as a friend and resource. Also, I’m totally proud of her! She took 4th place (tied for 3rd and then got 4th by 1 judge) in the tall bikini class at The Emerald Cup. Woot woot! She works REALLY hard and deserved that trophy big time =)

I’m going to keep blogging, but no longer on a daily basis, probably weekly or as bloggable interesting things in my training strike me.

Oh, and The Washington Ironman, September 24, 2011? It’s on ;)

Ecup Pics 1 of 4

Ecup Pics 2 of 4

Ecup Pics 3 of 4

Ecup Pics 4 of 4

Thursday, April 14, 2011

T-1 Day

Day 96

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I’m at the host hotel. I think I’ve practically already written a blog post in the form of my numerous excitable / freakoutable FaceBook updates, lol. I’m waiting for my ‘Seared tuna, balsamic grilled vegetables, mixed greens and pesto vinaigrette” from room service. As this is the host hotel they have these snazzy little extra “Emerald Cup Menus” printed up that purport to be prepared without any salt or oil so as to pertain to our competitor diets. Crap, I just reread the menu and I totally should have ordered the “bay shrimp, crisp romaine, boiled egg whites, avocado, corn and sundried tomato vinaigrette.” Damn that sounds even better, ah well. I’m surprised that there is so much broccolini on the competitor’s menu; don’t they know broccoli makes you bloat? Sheesh. I avoided the tasty dishes that had brocolini as I’d feel silly abandoning a veggie on my plate.

I am very very tan right now. It is entertaining. I also have the green armpits my trainer warned me about. I didn’t wear any deodorant today, but it happened anyways. Luckily they don’t show onstage!

They just brought my food and it was the wrong thing. The salmon with mashed sweet potatoes and broccolini. Having been formerly in the restaurant business I like to roll with the flow on mistakes, but I can’t eat the broccolini and my carbs are too high already for the sweet potatoes so I called to have it replaced. I hate doing that, but well, yeah.

I am so thankful and lucky to have Laura, my PT. She has warned me about so many things that if she hadn’t I might freak out about. The green armpits are a good example! She also warned me that you are butt naked in little not very private tents when they airbrush tan you so you see a lot of your competition naked and they see you. I must say that was intimidating and threw me off my game. A lot of these women are so sculpted that they make me look flat and fat. I realize that I look great and am my no means fat and that my body fat percentage is 13.1%, but apparently some of these women have single digit BF%s. I don’t know that I would ever be willing to do that. Then I was chatting with a guy who does nutrition for competitors and mid-conversation he said “not for me to take any offense, but that I currently looked like his clients do walking around regularly.” As in, not going into contest. He’d also said that he keeps his client’s 30 days out from contest consistently in terms of look so it wasn’t totally insulting, but gee, way to throw my confidence, thanks!
When I went down to do the early check in tonight I found out that I’m taller than I thought! I had registered way back for the over 5’4” to 5’5” figure class, but I got bumped up to the over 5’5” to 5’6” class because they got me at 5’5 ½ “. I’m feeling positive about it though. I like to think that I will look more muscular in a taller class. Sounds good anyways right? That's my competitor goody bag in the picture at the top.

I can’t wait for Kelly and Eli to arrive. It’s a bit lonely being here by myself and makes it easier to get disconcerted. I’m excited to see them too, just for the sake of seeing them, living 2+ hours apart we don’t see each other in person as much as I’d like to.

Here are my macros before the seared tuna salad coming from room service:

98.6 grams Protein 113.4 grams Carbs 54.7 grams Fat

Cal Tally

1,340.3 Ingested
(1,448) BMR

The tuna will delete the prospective net loss, but will accrue the protein I’m missing. Here’s hoping it arrives soon. I’m starved! I have a mini fridge full of chicken, round eye steak, asparagus, oatmeal and strawberries that I packed from home, but I wanted to try the special competitor’s menu for fun and a little variety from my own cooking! I’m not going to stress about perfect tracking tonight. T-1 day out = I think I’ve earned a tad of relaxation =)

Update: The Tuna FINALLY arrived and the pesto vinaigrette is F-ing DELICIOUS!

Hehe ;)

(Inspired by my friend Darene and my own mind too - we think a like!)

Love her mucho! Wish she could be here =)

Next competition she will!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Packing, Prepping, and a Pedicure

I finally got my yellow carrots tonight! Carbs are allowed! They were sooo good because they were juicy and my mouth has been feeling dry all afternoon. Juicy vegetables are where it's at! Lol.

Day 95

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Not too much to report today. I started rationing my water. I was supposed to cap fluids at 1/4 gallon (32 oz.) but I went 6 oz. over coming in at 38 oz. I usually take in 100-130 oz. daily so this is the tough part for me. Oddly, it reduces hunger. I had intended to only take in 1,500 cals which was an arbitrary number so I'm not bothered that I clocked in just over 1,600. No training today on account of the fluid restraint.

Tomorrow my fluids will go down by half. What's ot fun is most mornings I have 3 big cups of coffee and this morning I only had one small one. I'm not sure what I'll do tomorrow as my fluid budget is going down to 18 oz. So I'll lose half if I have a cup of coffee,but I'm also hitting the road for a 2 hour drive to the host hotel in the morning and I want my coffee! =)

I got a pedicure today so I have pretty toes for the competition. It was a good way to distract myself from not being able to drink at a time of day I'm usually sucking down 2-3 water bottles.

I've just been packig for the last 3 hours. Yes I'm only going on a couple night trip. It's the cooler that takes time. I have tupperwares of oatmeal prepped, a big one of sliced strawberries, a ziploc containing 2 bunches of steamed asparagus, tupperwares of cooked and sliced eye of round steak, some chicken breast, Isernio's chicken sausages, a tupperware of sweet potato, and these 45 cal (5 p 3 c 1.5 f) diabetic friendly Danon yogurts. My cooler is ready to roll!

I also needed my NPC card, posing suit, tickets for my friends, clear posing heels, bikini bite, muscle juice posing oil, glitzy bracelet, ring, and earrings, super dark makeup to match the fake tan I'll be getting, sweats to wear backstage, sheets so I don't stain the hotel's and get billed (from the tan, a resistance band in case the pump up room is packed, all kinds of stuff.

I'm looking forward to bed. Night!


126.7 grams Protein 172.2 grams Carbs 47.5 grams Fat

Cal Tally

1,623.1 Ingested
(1,448) BMR
175.1 Net Gain

Carbs are intentionally high. Today and tomorrow are the days I'm carb loading.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I'm all Woman, but my BF % Qualifies me as a Male Athlete. That's Entertaining!

Day 95

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

This will likely be my shortest entry. Laura tested my body fat in the Bod Pod for the 3rd time today. I was at 13.1% and my weight is down to 136.7 lbs so I am made up of 18.0 lbs of fat and 118.7 lbs of lean mass. There’s the printout. (click to enlarge)

My body fat progress has been as follows:

January 18th, 2011 20.4%

March 17th, 2011 15.1%

April 12, 2011 13.1%

I’ve managed to shed 7.3% in three months despite my beginning number having already been on the cusp of “Athletes” / “Fitness.” I’m proud of that. I’m also now just entering the “Essential Fat” zone which in women is 10-13%. What is essential fat? It’s the stuff that’s in your organs and in other places where it is essential to your physiology and healthy functioning. In Bikini 14-16% is commonplace, Figure 12-15%, Women’s Bodybuilding goes even lower than that. Just in case anyone is a new reader or plum forgot, I’m competing in figure =) I’m official now; my body fat means I’m for real or at least by my logic of the moment. I’m also feeling it now. I’m just finishing my 3rd and final day of carb-deplete. I’m exhausted. I had planned to, but I’m not going to do cardio tomorrow morning. I don’t need to take my fat one iota lower. Some women do, yes, but I don’t want to. I need to strike a balance. Today may have been the last day of training, unless I’m stressed tomorrow. Then I will circuit train for 20 minutes for stress relief.

My day isn’t over yet, I have one more meal coming. I may carb it up and have a big bowl of oatmeal. It would be 12 hours early, but I feel like I may actually need some carbs. Here are my stats as of 7:30 pm. I’m fading fast and don’t want to need to do this later, thus the early and unfinished log/blog post for today:
I did 23 min of cardio on an AMT machine and 30 min of circuit weight training. Free weights, but lower weight and high reps.


As of 7:30 pm: 101.9 grams Protein 117 grams Carbs 49.6 grams Fat

Cal Tally

1,322 Cals Ingested
(1,448) BMR)
(448) Training Burn
(574) Net Loss Planned to be reduced by 378 cals (up to by 1,700 budget) for an end net loss of (196)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Gold's Gym is Where This all Started =)

It's true. Before we even moved here Gold's Gym became my plan for sanity. C man was going to be out of preschool for a full 2 months which meant zero guaranteed breaks or "me time" for me. As any parent knows, that is not good. So I went searching online. I found Gold's and I found they had onsite childcare a whopping 7 days a week. I was elated! When we moved and we went there to check it out it was a nice clean happy big room with loads of things to do a and a friendly caring staff (translation: a place you can feel good about leaving your kiddo behind in). I signed up for unlimited right off the bat and we've been going ever since. Then I started Body Pump classes, got obsessed / addicted with weight training and eventually found Laura to teach me all things free weights at The Rec on campus.

Day 94

Monday, April 11, 2011

Things are starting to get hard now. I’m questioning everything. I’m especially worried that I’m not going to coordinate the water deplete with the carb deplete / load correctly and that I will end up looking flat on show day. I’m also quite hungry and tired. I almost screwed up carb deplete allowance, but had to skip all veggies at dinner to right my ratios. I just finished eating some almonds and olives because my fat intake was too low, protein was headed high, and carbs were already maxed. My dinner consisted of 4 Isernio’s chicken apple breakfast sausage links. I REALLY wanted steamed yellow carrots I have in the freezer from Trader Joe’s with them, but I had to refrain because I couldn’t afford the carbs in the carrots. That’s kind of screwed up, huh?

I got up and did 50 min of cardio at 6:20 am this morning. I then trained my back and chest at Gold’s this afternoon for 45 minutes followed by 20 minutes on the StairMaster and a quickie abs circuit.

I did get some good news today. I won my category (females age 18-29) in The Gold’s Gym 12 Week Total Body Transformation Challenge. There weren’t a whole lot of us in the contest, but I am still proud. It is a good feeling. They’ll send my info and pics off to the Gold’s Gym national level on account of it, but I’m not expecting anything to come of that.

Macros 185.4 grams Protein 125.4 grams Carbs 43.8 grams Fat

Cal Tally

1,637.4 Ingested
(1,448) BMR
(1,140) Training Burn
950.6 Net Loss

Carbs were too high by 15 grams though. I have to back up and remind myself that this is my 1st competition, an experiment, not perfection.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

What Peak Week Really Looks Like

My manicure paired with iron makes me laugh, so I took a picture.

The tupperware is back!

That was dinner AKA meal 4 of 6.
(That's a salad plate)

Day 93

T-5 Days

Day 1 of Carb Deplete

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Today has been interesting. I’m very strict now. The entire contest prep diet has been low on carbs, but I just started carb depleting today so my former macro allowance by 40%. I’m also gradually trimming my calorie allowance. Today the cap was 1,700. Wednesday and Thursday I will not be working out at all due to the water depleting so I may cut as low as 1,500 on my cal budget, but those days I will be carb loading. I still need to go read up on how many carbs constitute “loading.” I’m not sure if it is going back up to where I was (170 +/- grams a day) or a little bite more than that.

I went to Gold’s this afternoon and began with cardio as I feared I would try and wuss out on it if I did weights first as usual. I wound up doing a full 90 minutes on the StairMaster. I had initially set it for 40 on speed intervals level 10, then I decided to tack on another 20 of fat burner level 10 and by the time that was over I was just in the cardio zone so I tacked on another 30 of speed intervals level 10. That all culminated to 865 cals burned, 8.79 miles, and 424 floors climbed.
Hehehehehe I think the peak week craziness has hit. Truth be told I wanted to keep going and do two ours, but I made myself quit realizing that I had already made it that much harder to stay on track with my cal / macro numbers tonight as cardio seems to incite extra hunger. I went brief on weights after that. Only 40 minutes encompassing a shoulder circuit, biceps circuit, and triceps circuit. I’ll combine back and chest tomorrow.

Gold’s Gym 2:40 – 5:20 pm


40 min Speed Intervals Level 10 381 Cals Burned 3.85 miles 186 floors climbed
20 min Fat Burner Level 10 196 Cals Burned 2.01 miles 97 floors climbed
30 min Speed Intervals Level 10 288 Cals Burned 2.93 miles 141 floors climbed
5 minutes stretching
5 mg Glutamine taken in water to prevent muscle loss

You’ll see me numbers of sets, numbers of exercises per body part, and weights are all down from the usual. During peak week you’re supposed to cut back and not lift more than 80% your usual weight and favor higher reps and circuit training. Or at least that’s what some of the ton of conflicting info I’ve read has said, haha ;)

Shoulder Circuit:

1. Dumbbell Alternating Shoulder Presses 20 lbs x 18 reps
Barbell Upright Rows 40 lbs x 10 reps
Barbell Military Presses 40 lbs x 8 reps
2. Dumbbell Alternating Shoulder Presses 20 lbs x 16 reps
Barbell Upright Rows 40 lbs x 10 reps
Barbell Military Presses 40 lbs x 6 reps
3. Dumbbell Alternating Shoulder Presses 20 lbs x 16 reps
Barbell Upright Rows 40 lbs x 10 reps
Barbell Military Presses 40 lbs x 10 reps

Biceps Circuit:

1. Seated Barbell Curls 40 lbs x 10 reps
Dumbbell Seated Alt. Hammer Curls 20 lbs x 16 reps
2. Seated Barbell Curls 40 lbs x 12 reps
Dumbbell Seated Alt. Hammer Curls 20 lbs x 18reps
3. Seated Barbell Curls 40 lbs x 18 reps
Dumbbell Seated Alt. Hammer Curls 20 lbs x 26 reps

Triceps Circuit:

1. Dumbbell Kickbacks 15 lbs x 10 reps each arm (full set then switch)
Dumbbell Standing Overhead Extensions 20 lbs x 12 reps
Body Weight Bench Dips to Failure 16 reps
2. Dumbbell Kickbacks 15 lbs x 10 reps each arm (full set then switch)
Dumbbell Standing Overhead Extensions 20 lbs x 12 reps
Body Weight Bench Dips to Failure 14 reps
3. Dumbbell Kickbacks 15 lbs x 12 reps each arm (full set then switch)
Dumbbell Standing Overhead Extensions 20 lbs x 12 reps
Body Weight Bench Dips to Failure 18 reps

Remember how I used to log everything I ate in each blog entry? Well I’m going to bring that back today to show how peak week differs:

8:30 am
1 slice sprouted wheat seed bread (6 g P, 23 g C, 3 g F)
4 Isernio’s Chicken Apple Sausage Links (26 g P, 6 g C, 5 g F)
½ cup Strawberries (0.6 g P, 6.4 g C, 0.2 g F)
Coffee + creamer x 2 (0 g P, 8 g C, 3 g F)

11:50 am
½ cup plain sweet potato (1 g P, 18.8 g C, 0.1 g F)
5 oz. Isernio’s Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage (26 g P, 2 g C, 6 g F)
Coca-Cola Cherry Zero (0)

2:00 pm
1 Tablespoon Natty Peanut Butter (4.5 g P, 3.5 g C, 7.5 g F)
1 scoop Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Cake Batter Flavor (24 g P, 3 g C, 1 g F)
8 oz. Silk Soymilk Plain Sugar Free (7 g P, 4 g C, 4 g F)
½ cup plain sweet potato (1 g P, 18.8 g C, 0.1 g F)

6:30 pm
6 oz. leanest cut ground beef with salt and pepper (43.7 g P, 0 g C, 10 g F)
8 plain steamed asparagus spears (2.8 g P, 5 g C, 0.1 g F)
1 cup steamed spinach with a splash of ponzu (5.3 g P, 6.8 g C, 0.5 g F)

8:15 pm
4 oz. spiced baked chicken breast (26.1 g P, 0 g C, 1.4 g F)
2.5 cups baby butter lettuce greens (1 g P, 2 g C, 0 g F)
1 teaspoon each cherry balsamic vinegar and rice wine vinegar (0)
Hot tea Celestial Seasonings Mandarin Orange Spice no sweetener (0)

9:50 pm
Peanut Butter Think Thin Bar (20 g P 24 g C 8 g F)
1 cup decaf coffee w/ 1 T creamer (0 g P 4 g C 1.5 g F)

After the gym I popped up to the mall to snag a pair of sweatpants I’ve walked by quite a few times. I read a packing for competition article last night on and hadn’t previously thought of the need for a zip sweatshirt and drawstring loose sweatpants for show day. I bought the XS and they fit right. That’s new! The sweats were at Victoria Secret. I’ve also been meaning to get a new bra because of fit issues and as expected I bought one a full size smaller than my usual. Bodybuilding doesn’t make everything bigger, it makes some things smaller, haha. Let’s just say I now better understand why so many figure pros have fake boobs and leave it at that. I also bought some purple eye shadow and dark pink sparkly eyeliner they had by the checkout counter. They will have a makeup artist doing all the competitors at the show, but things can get crazy and run behind backstage so I want to come prepared to do my own backstage if I have to. I haven’t put on black pencil liner in years much less sparkly pink liquid liner so I had better practice a lot. I’ll also need fake eyelashes and I haven’t a clue about those. We may be strong women who lift with sweat men for hours upon hours a week, but when it comes down to competition day there sure are a lot of beauty pageant-esque elements mixed in.


195 grams Protein 114.5 grams Carbs 51.4 grams Fat

Cal Tally

1,700.6 Cals Ingested
(1,448) BMR
(1,126) Training Burn (865 Cardio 261 Weights)
(873.4) Net Loss Oh Yeah =)

My protein is running heavy, but when you carb deplete your cals have to come from somewhere. My cal count is perfect, right where I wanted it. I’m a few grams heavier on carbs than I wanted, under 110 grams was my goal. It’s premeditated though. I tallied this all up before eating the Think Thin Bar and drinking the decaf. Those extra 4 grams of carbs over my goal are totally worth it to have my cup of decaf with creamer. I need the hot liquid with the bar to feel satisfied and while I could drink unsweetened tea for 0 cars and cals the decaf with 1 T of creamer is soooooooooooooooo much more satisfying =) Off to make it and drink it now. Goodnight!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Yummity Yum Shrimp Louie! 53 g P 11 g C 10 g F What a Lovable Ratio Too! =)

Day 92

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I am officially turning into a total spaz. I almost forgot to write this tonight. Today was my last serious leg workout. I did a squat rack pyramid, skier and sumo smith machine squats, unilateral smith machine squats, smith machine lunges, 4 types of walking lunges (20 lb dumbbells, 8 lb mb side twists, glute squeezes, 40 lb barbells), a massive 8 set helping of cable kickbacks, cable hip ad/abductors, prone single leg curls, and single leg extensions. Altogether it was about an hour and 20 minutes which only left me with 15 minutes for the Stairmaster. Tomorrow I need to hit triceps, biceps, shoulders, and chest plus a long cardio session. Then Monday I’ll do back and cardio. Tuesday will be the last day I can work out and I will probably do a circuit of my two favorite exercises per body part. Which means of course cable kickbacks, pull-ups, and dumbbell single arm bent over rows will be involved! =)

Why is Tuesday the cutoff? Because Tuesday I will be limited to 1 gallon of water, Wednesday 1/2 gallon, and Thursday 1/4 gallon. No, I don’t get to have other drinks beyond that. I’ve decided to water deplete. It’s standard practice in figure and I don’t want to disadvantage myself on stage after how much time and effort I’ve put in over the last 3 months. Tomorrow through Tuesday I will be carb-depleting and then I will carb load on Wednesday and Thursday. The word load is misleading here; it’s still nothing like a normal diet. Friday morning I will only be able to have sips of water and a few bites of carbs before pre-judging. Rice cakes are a popular option. I’m not happy w/o coffee, but my trainer made the smartest suggestion: take a Starbucks Via packet and mix it with only 1 or 2 oz. of hot water and take it like a shot. Smart, huh?

I love shrimp Louie salads. They’re tasty and spring weather makes me crave them. They’re high protein, low carb, and if you make your own Thousand Island like I do low-fat too. My entire dressing was ½ T mayo (yes mayo, 6 g fat) 1 T ketchup (4 g carbs) and pickle juice with black pepper. I had a massive 9 oz. of shrimp meat and then 2.5 cups baby butter lettuce greens. The whole plate clocked in at 53 g protein, 11 g carbs, and 10 g fat. Great ratio! A satisfying meal too. I would normally have added an avocado, olives, tomato, and cucumber, but not on this diet, and especially not during peak week.

Alrighty, I swear I had more interesting things to say earlier today, but they’ve escaped. It's time to rest anyways!


150.9 grams Protein 153.5 grams Carbs 47.3 grams Fat

Cal Tally

1,643.3 Ingested
(1,448) BMR
(682) Training Burn
(486.7) Net Loss =)

Friday, April 8, 2011

My Blood is Sea Green

(Click to enlarge)

Day 91

Friday, April , 2011

Peak Week started today. One week from right now The Emerald Cup will be behind me. I’m tired and very much ready for bed now, but I had a good day. I got up for cardio bright and early this morning. I got a haircut. I got my fake nails done. I got put through a killer 50 minute plyometrics session by Laura, my PT. She said the goal was to shock my body. I think it worked. She also brought in a friend of hers, who is in training to be a judge, for posing tips. I got some great tips from him and now know about a slight shoulder rotation I need to do when popping my lats out to better nail my back pose. Yay!

I’m not sure how I feel right now. I’m part intimidated, part ready to sleep for 5 days straight, part excitable. On Monday I’ll find out how many other women are in my class. Here’s hoping it is 15 or under! I have my nails done, my posing suit, my competition heels, my glitzy bracelet and earrings, my NPC card, my bikini bite, my posing oil should be here Tuesday. Laura will test my body fat for the third and final time on Tuesday morning. I really hope it is at 13 point something percent. It’s a reasonable hope based on the last reading (15.1%) and my behavior since then. I have visible veins everywhere. I find it extremely entertaining and simultaneously freaky. I have a very cool hairdresser, Amy, she thinks this whole thing I’m up to is really interesting and inspiring. She had me flex for one of her coworkers today too, then I showed her my arm veins and her eyes got huge. I understand; they’re pretty surreal in person! That pic up there doesn’t do them justice (wish I had a DSLR!), but gives you an idea of them.

Speaking of cool people in my life, Laura, my PT, is so inspirational. She’s a kinesiology major and she really knows her stuff. Her goal is to get her pro card. She competes in the bikini class (less bulk than figure, but they have to work equally hard to train) and she is hardcore. She just did a competition one week ago and she’s also doing Ecup. So what is she doing in between, in addition to her regular training? Boot camp! Boot camp that meets 3 days a week and is put on by a former NFL guy! She has 4 competitions behind her and has taken as high as 2nd place. When she gets her first 1st place finish, damn, it will be deserved =) P.S. I think this boot camp business relates to the very challenging plyos session she put me through this afternoon. I was shocked at how hard the abs set was. Click on the list – all of those abs moves will make you hurt 3 reps in – no joke.

It’s really fun to have fake nails again. I got them regularly for a brief time, but that was 7ish years ago when my friend Brooke and I used to get them together. That was a happy time in my life, even though I was totally gym-less then, haha. Miss seeing more of you Brooke! I’ll probably keep my nails a month or so beyond the competition for fun =)

I’m all over the board tonight aren’t I? That last pic is C and I being big dorks in the kitchen when I was taking the vein pic. He likes to “flex” his big shoulder-padded in Spider-man muscles. We’re, uh, not your average family ;)


143.5 grams Protein 188.7 grams Carbs 54.3 grams Fat

Cal Tally

1,817.5 Cals Ingested
(1,448) BMR
(762) Training Burn*
(392.5) Net Loss =)

Guesstimated the 50 min ploys session at 450 cals

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My Kiddo Keeps Me In Line

Day 90

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Nope! Not going to do the pizza aka crap-loading thing. I didn’t look bloated this morning, but there was no dramatic difference in my muscle shape or fullness either. I did, however, weigh exactly 1.5 lbs more than the day prior. Day to day weight fluctuations are totally normal, but I’m not going to eat something the night before the competition that incites an upswing in my weight. I’ll also feel much more prepared mentally if I eat chicken and oatmeal the night before. If I eat completely clean I’ll feel smart and prepared going in. This sport may appear physical, but when it comes down to pulling it off the biggest feat is mindset maintenance, no question.

So I have my real PT Laura who totally rocks, but I also have a live in very influential personal trainer. His name is Charlie, he’ll be 4 later this month, and I should listen to him all the time. He tried to stop me from ordering that pizza yesterday. He kept saying he’d rather have the salmon (king, fresh, on sale, woohoo!) we’d gotten at the store. I finally talked him into going pro pizza with promises of delivery being exciting. He was right though, we should have had the salmon. We had it tonight and it was deliciously tasty. It is so rich compared to the fish I’ve had lately due to the higher fat content that eating a small portion works – you still feel satisfied.

Today my only free time was between 9 am and 12 pm and I REALLY needed to, ya know, do some of those assignments from that full load of accounting classes I keep on the side ;) It is really hard to want to prioritize anything but The Emerald Cup this close, but I can’t blow off the obligations that existed prior and in the grand scheme probably take precedence. I was worried it could mean a skip day so I did a full 50 minutes for am cardio instead of the usual 25-30. When evening rolled around and we got home from school I asked C what he wanted to do: stay home or go to the gym? He was all pro gym. I was all tired and complacent and I tried to sell him the merits of staying home. No go. He was really insistent, stuck to his guns on this one. I’m glad he did though, he was right. I would have had regrets if we hadn’t gone. We only stayed one hour instead of the usual two though as going at all was pushing Mr. Non-napper’s bedtime as it was. He gets excited to see his gym friends and I think he is overall largely in it for the shake he often talks me into getting him on the way out =) I trained back and abs while we were there: two variations of lat pulldowns, dumbbell bent over single rows, two variations of seated cable rows, straight arm dumbbell pullovers, DB Decline Push Crunches, and DB Side Bends.

I am very pleased with how I ate today: totally clean. Great macro ratios and under my cal budget too. I started a new class today. It is totally outside of my realm: it’s an every other week dialogue group on creative learning. It’s just one credit and it is pass/fail which is perfect. What was so funny though is that when I showed up they had bowls of those pink and white frosted and rainbow sprinkle covered animal shaped cookies sitting out everywhere for munching. Haha, I didn’t touch them! I did have a small handful of the pretzels, my carbs still clocked in low today and they appeared to be whole grain pretzels :P If I take 13 credits instead of 12 for a few quarters I can avoid having to take another 16 credit quarter, thus the desire for a one credit class. I can do 16 credits, but it’s a gpa killer and a major stress upper. Most importantly, I suck at giving Charlie undivided focus when we’re home with 16 credits and that’s not fair to him. With 12-13 I have enough breathing room to prioritize our quality time together.


151.3 grams Protein 147 grams Carbs 52.2 grams Fat

Cal Tally

1,663 Ingested
(1,448) BMR
(892) Training Burn
(677) Net Loss =)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pizza with Purpose

I haven't been on the scale at home in a good while.Turns out I'm at the lowest I've been in almost 6 years. I wasn't anywhere near this lean back then though. As for the other pictures, read on:

Day 89

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I’m down to the wire for planning my peak week. I’ve heard about four different approaches directly from people who’ve done it and I’ve read many many more. There’s sodium manipulation, carb depletion followed by carb loading, fat loading, and water depletion. Some people do all, some one or two, some none. Most recently I read about “crap loading.” No, don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds! Basically that means you eat crappy food for dinner the night before your show. It’s essentially doing your big cheat meal 24 hours early, but for a purpose. Time and time again I see people writing on the forums about amateurs looking way better the day after their show than the day of. Why? The cheat meal they had after. A big influx of carbs and sodium inflates and hardens your muscles by filling them with glycogen and the sodium draws the water in where it is supposed to be instead of spilling over and flattening out your look, or so they say. I don’t have the time for a trial run peak week, but a trial run of crap loading, to determine whether or not I should include it in my peak week was doable.

I put a lot of thought into this. There is a local non-chain pizza place I love, but pizza has substantial variance and I need carbs and sodium to be constants not variables here. Answer? Domino’s. There’s one here that delivers and there is one within delivery range of the host hotel for my crap dinner the night before the show if I do it. I had 4 slices for a total of 36 grams Protein 104 grams Carbs and 32 grams Fat. Craziness! I haven’t had a meal with that many carbs in it in months! That’s more than 60% of my total daily carbs allowance and more than 50% of my total daily fat allowance, but only about 20% of my daily Protein allowance. You can see why bodybuilders consider pizza to be “crap,” don’t get me wrong, we think it’s yummy just like you do, but it is the opposite of what is needed to lean out and cut body fat. If a bodybuilder was a car, putting pizza in it would be like putting diesel in a gas engine. You won’t be getting on the road to your goal anytime soon!

Alrighty, I’ll stop dissing pizza before I offend everyone! I decided to trial crap load today because I was super-duper well-behaved on nutrition all day (my 1st 4 meals were made of oatmeal, whey protein, sweet potatoes, and Isernio’s spicy chicken sausage) By 2 pm I had burned about the same number of cals working out (1,124) as I’d eaten (1,191), never mind BMR. As I was rolling in heavy on cals burned and rolling in light on cals eaten I decided it was a good day to completely blow my macro ratios and cal budget. Well, it’s never a good time for that, but it was a better time than already running heavy on my counts would have been. Tomorrow morning I’ll allot an extra couple minutes to do some posing when I first get up. Then I can make the call on whether or not I should crap load for The EC. If I look bloated it’s a definite no. If I don’t appear bloated and my muscles have a nice hard filled out look then it’ll be a yes. I’ll let you know tomorrow.

I did my am cardio today, but got cut off at 25 minutes. C woke up and came in at 21 min, but I got him jumping on my bed until I hit 25. He then insisted I jump on the bed too. I noticed that bouncing really accentuates my abdominals so I said “oooh, my abs came in.” He said, “I don’t have abs! I have spider-man boots!” Haha. It’s true too, he may be Mr. Skinny, but he does have a little belly =) I also trained biceps, triceps, and shoulders at The Rec for an hour and 15 minutes immediately followed up by my second cardio session (30 min on an AMT machine).

I feel good about doing this to plan my peak week right, but I regret eating the pizza. I wouldn’t have done it for its own sake. I wasn’t even really craving it, neither was C. I asked him if he wanted pizza or salmon and he kept answering salmon. I only talked him into pizza by telling him a delivery guy would bring it (he’s used to it being freezer derived). We’ll be having the salmon tomorrow night.
What happened to the extra slices? The freezer. I have frozen pizza around for C all the time and it doesn’t tempt me.


147 grams Protein 248 grams Carbs 77 grams Fat


That’s a blown ratio if ever there was one.

At least I did it for a purpose ;)

Pizza with purpose, haha.

Cal Tally

2,273 Ingested
(1,448) BMR
(1,124) Training Burn
(299) Net loss (Still!) =)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ready NOW & Dreading Reverse Dieting

Day 88

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

If The Emerald Cup were this Friday instead of the following one that would be great. I feel like I’m just playing a waiting game now. The energy drain is making me weak when it comes to resolve and I keep wanting to have just a few bites of various disallowed foods. I’m getting these cravings every single day. It’s a problem. I’m not sure how I should kick it. I’m considering limiting myself to just a few foods and only those foods until the competition. A lot of people go down to something like that for the last week. One guy’s peak week diet that I read was basically just cashews, sweet potatoes, salmon, and top round steak. He was intentionally loading fat. I forget why. I can recite the water depletion, sodium, carb depleting, and carb loading bits pretty well, but I forget the theory behind fat loading during peak week. That same guy also practices what he terms “crap loading” which is where he eats a cheat meal the night before the show instead of waiting until after the show. The logic being that is that a lot of competitors look fantastic the day after the show because all the carbs and sodium in their cheat meal (think pizza) fill out their muscles and make everything look hard. It sounds interesting. I need to come up with a definitive peak week plan of attack pronto. I’ve procrastinated on those decisions long enough: my peak week starts this weekend!

I trained glutes and chest today. I managed to get in 40 minutes of am cardio at home before breakfast and before C woke up. That was great. I was only at The Rec for an hour and 10 minutes this afternoon. A short one: glutes, chest, and 15 minutes on the StairMaster. I have been tracking macros throughout the day and am clocking in right on target:


139.1 grams Protein 160.5 grams Carbs 58.3 grams Fat

Cal Tally

1,723 Cals Ingested
(1,448) BMR
(976) Burned Training

(701) Net Loss =)

I have a headache yet again. I’m not sure if it is the afternoon coffee, the tightness in my neck lately, something seasonal, or whatever else. Even though I’ve never liked it I think I should take up with yoga in the off season. I never stretch adequately and I read an article in F&M Hers awhile back about how beneficial yoga can be to building muscle. The added flexibility primes the muscle fibers to grow more freely or something to that extent. I’m starting to dread reverse dieting, that’s what you do after a competition. You gradually start adding back your carbs, you cut down your cardio, you don’t freak out if you only get to the gym 5 days a week. That all sounds like a nice relief of my packed schedule, but at the same time I dread covering back up the definition I’ve quickly grown to love so much. I’ll do my best to embrace the merits of the off-season though, and then right about the beginning of July I’ll start shedding again for the Ironman (it’s end of Sept beginning of Oct – don’t know the exact date yet).

Monday, April 4, 2011

I Like to Breathe in the Testosterone

That’s white roughy (5 oz. portion) baked with lime and salt and pepper and served on a bed of kale sautéed up with bacon, garlic, and balsamic. Yes, bacon. I can afford the 5 grams of fat in 1 slice and it makes the kale rich and yummy. I threw in the two tasty green olives for a last minute salt rush.

Stats: 27.5 grams protein 7.3 grams carbs 8.8 grams fat 218 cals

Day 87

Monday, April 4, 2011

I really love my fake tan. I love being tan in general, if not for that whole kill me off with skin cancer bit I’d take a daily 15 minute nap in a tanning bed. I’d like to live to be a crotchety 93-year-old woman out at the bar having a long island iced tea with my lifelong friends (or more likely sipping coffee at home ;) though so I resist the siren call of the sunlamp.

Being tan in my hot pink tank top and black capris in a weight-room packed almost 100% with college boys is highly entertaining. There’s just something totally invigorating about being the only girl in there, many days there are other girls, but seemingly never more than 3-4 of us. Don’t worry, I don’t want to find a date next to my weights, lol. I tend to go at lunch and it tends to be packed then. This correlates with my getting some of the best mental pumps and consequently some of my “heavy” weight records.

I’m a very competitive personality and the more packed the weight room is, the more in the zone I get and the higher weights and additional sets I log to show for it. My favorite thing is when I spy a guy using the same or lighter weight than me for the same exercise. This entertains the crap out of me in that I can be all girly in my pink, weigh 20-50 lbs less than the guy, not have anywhere near his amount of testosterone (women have a little) yet lift the same or more. I don't see it as him being emasculated or anything like that, I just like to have my think I'm a tough chick moments. I like to poke fun at everything, so my other “theory” is that there’s a bunch of testosterone in the air in there and that breathing it in ups my upper body strength and explains the heavy pumps I’ve gotten in that weight room ;)

I had a freak injury there today. I was training back and shoulders. Thankfully, I had finished with free weights before it happened, as getting a good grip on a dumbbell afterwards would have been a bitch. I was removing a metal short bar with D-handles from the seated cable row pulley and the damn thing had a sharp spot in the metal that sliced my thumb tip wide open. It was a total gusher too. The guy manning the desk was nice, and apparently not squeamish, about helping me get a bunch of tape on there. I had to come back twice more for more tape because the damn thing kept wanting to soak through. I finished my workout. I didn’t get to do my pull-ups though, too much tape for a good grip. It was down to a dribble by the time I finished my cardio and tore it all off to rebandage. I’m now wearing a Toy Story band aid, snazzy.

I workout with nasty headaches (yesterday and lasting into the 30 min of cardio this morning at 6:20 am) I workout while bleeding (hygienically under wraps) I had my son with no drugs and still have my “I’m tough” souvenir sealed bottle of hydrocodone they gave me after that I never used. I like to think I’m not a whiner. My issue is not a lack of will, nah, it’s a lack of time in the day. What I wouldn’t give for the freedom to be at the gym daily without a 90 minute limit, without a 2 hour limit, without other pressing things that are getting put off to be there, without putting off needed sleep to clear some, but not all of those things later. I sure dream a lot for someone who doesn't sleep much. Maybe I should go buy a Lotto ticket ;)

I screwed up my cal budget today. I didn’t do anything outlandish or outright rebellious, I just didn’t track. Most days I tally macros before starting each subsequent meal. That way, I know if a particular macro, or total cals, are running high while it is still early enough to catch and fix. Today I just tallied up for the first time two hours ago and found I was already at 1,737 cals with macros along the usual ratios. Crap. I still had one more meal coming and skipping the meal was not an option as that leads me to binge from hunger or wind up going too many hours in the night without muscle maintenance fuel. So:


185.6 grams Protein 167.2 grams Carbs 60.5 grams Fat

Cal Tally

1,955.7 Ingested
(1,448) BMR
(1,006) Training (355 am cardio + 453 1 hr & 10 min weights 198 pm cardio)
(498.3) Net Loss =)

Why is my cal budget only 1,800 when I still run a net loss at higher intakes? Yeah, I don't know. I know a lot of other figure girls eat far less than I do, so somehow that translated into my deciding to cap my budget at 1,800 daily for the last 3 weeks to be competitive or something. Or, put another way: I don't actually know what the hell I'm doing. Remember? This whole thing is a crazy experiment ;)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Gold's Gym Total Body Transformation Challenge Before/After Pics

Click the picture to enlarge to a viewable size!

I have to say now that I'm seeing the before and after side by side, damn, I truly have transformed myself =)

Day 86

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Remember The Gold’s Gym 12 Week Total Body Transformation Challenge that I entered and began this blog about? It kind of got forgotten after I went crazy (read: got some balls) and decided to enter The Emerald Cup didn’t it? ;) Well today was the final day so off I went to Gold’s this morning to get weighed, measured and photographed. Here are the results:

WAIST 30.5” 27” Lost 3.5”
R THIGH 24.5” 22” Lost 2.5”
HIP 40” 38” Lost 2”
R BICEP (Unflexed) 10.5” 11” Gained 0.5” =)
BODY FAT % 20.4% 15.1% Lost 5.3%
WEIGHT 150.4 lbs 140.2 lbs Lost 10.2 lbs

Not bad, eh? I think the before and after pics say it all. I still have a long ways to go to have a chance at placing as a figure competitor, but long gone are my saggy butt and pudgy stomach thank you very much!

I trained my biceps, triceps, and abs today for 45 minutes and then did 30 minutes on the StairMaster. I’ve had a splitting headache since before I got out of bed this morning. I got up for aspirin and went back to sleep, didn’t work, took more aspirin getting home from the gym, still have it now while I type, bleh. Here’s hoping by the time I wake up tomorrow morning it is gone!

My macros were in perfect order until I got oatmeal cookies on the brain. Someone in my fb feed was talking about them and I’d read a bodybuilder dude’s pre-contest diet and peak week detail earlier and he eats all this junk during peak week to carb load, including oatmeal raisin cookies! Yeah, they got in my mind I had 8 big bites of the cookie dough, and then I baked them, took 2 bites and remember how much baked cookies suck compared to the dough so I quit. It was dumb, but it could have been worse. I could go calculate the p/c/f grams in that cookie dough, but I don’t want to. I think it’s fair to say I wiped out my net cal loss. How about we just say that and call it a night?

(pre-cookie dough)

170.5 grams Protein 151.9 grams Carbs 51.5 grams Fat

Cal Tally
1,753.1 Ingested
(1,448) BMR
(583) Training
(277.9) Net Loss
Less Cookie Dough Wipeout
Equals…It’s a Wash!

P.S. They don't judge the Gold's Gym Challenge until the 11th. I'll let you know if I place or not when I hear =)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Insert Witty Post Title Here

Day 85

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

I hadn’t planned on it, but I made today a full real rest day today: no cardio, no weights. C and I were almost out the door this morning to the gym when I somehow managed to lock my bedroom door (the lock is on the inside) and I was still in a bathrobe and ALL my clothes were in there. That took a good while to get sorted out and by the time it did I started realizing that my lower back is feeling really tweaky. I think I may have, ahem, overdone my leg workout yesterday, please join me in laughing at myself ;) I got a bunch of errands done instead and had some fun trying on my posing suit and taking a few photos. I restocked with new clean foods and I’m feeling revived about my diet. Shorty post today!


139.8 grams Protein 165.4 grams Carbs 62.8 grams Fat

Cal Tally

1,786 Cals Ingested
(1,448) BMR
(0) Training
338 Net Gain

Friday, April 1, 2011

One Week Left to Train

Day 84

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Today is the two week mark. I find this both exciting and scary. What it really means is that I only have one week left to train. One week left to get my body fat to 13% (or less!) to finish my training. After that it is peak week. What’s peak week? The last week pre-contest. Everything changes then. If you’re water rationing you have to quit working out 3 days out when you start limiting water. Many people also manipulate their sodium intake too. I haven’t yet decided if I will dehydrate and mess with my sodium or not. There are viable arguments for both approaches and ‘m on the fence. I will get to carb load though! It’s not as decadent as it sounds, but still a welcome change. Peak week is known for being the biggest mental challenge. I’ll get back to you on how I feel about it when we get there.

I started having some nerves this morning realizing that today is the two week mark. I started off well, getting up before C for 40 minutes of pre-breakfast cardio. I haven’t missed am cardio once since school started and I’m proud about that. After dropping C off at preschool I went to The Rec and stayed from 9:35 am – 12:15 pm. Two hours of that was spent training my legs and the last 30 minutes doing my second cardio session. Here’s a video that sums it up well =)

I also got a tan today, a fake tan. An airbrush tan. Remember the Gold’s Gym 12 Week Total Body Transformation Challenge thing I entered back when I started this blog, back before I decided to go crazy and enter The EC? My “after” picture, weigh-in, and measurements are being taken Sunday morning. A tan better highlights muscle definition so I decided to try one.

My suit came today too! It’s beautiful. Why no ode to the suit picture set or posing video? I’m going to do that Sunday in conjunction with my “after” picture. It almost didn’t come today. I managed to miss my mailman and got home to the “we missed you!” slip, but I had seen his truck so I went back, found it again, parked and umm literally chased him down, lol (what? I was still in my gym clothes it made sense :P). He was nice about it and got me the package. Phew!

I’m headed to bed and hoping, hoping, hoping that I am not getting sick. This evening I am noticing scratchiness in my throat and really really hoping it is irritation from breathing in the airbrush tanning spray. If it is a cod I want to wake up totally sick tomorrow. Huh? That will give me maximum time to get better. If it doesn’t catch me for a few more days that will be worse. I can’t afford a cold right now, but if I’m getting one I’m going to be as positive as possible and try to work it to me lean out advantage headed into peak week if I can. Have to make the best of what I’m dealt!

I upped my macro and cal budgets today. I burned close to twice as many calories training today as I usually do by putting in such a long session so I knew I needed more.


147.9 grams Protein 197 grams Carbs 88.1 grams Fat

Cal Tally

2,172 Ingested
(1,448) BMR
(1,600) Training (494 cals 1st cardio + 780 cals 2 hrs intense weightlifting + 326 cals 2nd cardio)
(876) Net Loss =)